Beautiful designs for everyone. By everyone. With it's powerful tools and brilliant effects, Klex makes it easy to create stunning and memorable designs for your business, family and friends. Introducing Gravit Cloud Quickly create awesome graphics and share them with the world. One account, one workspace and multiple awesome free design tools.
Gravit comes with all 2d vector design standards, like boolean operations, symbols, pages and way more. Since the initial release of the Creative Cloud version, Illustrator is only available as part of a Creative Cloud subscription and is not available for a one-time purchase price they way it used to be. Illustrator has a wide range of tools for creating and manipulating vector objects which can create complex graphics with precision and ease.
While Illustrator used to be a bit clumsy when it came to working with complex curved shapes, the new Curvature tool is a much-welcomed addition that offers additional curve and anchor drawing options. Fortunately, because Illustrator is widely considered the industry standard, there is a huge amount of introductory tutorial material to help you get up to speed. Every single element of the interface can be moved, docked or hidden, and you can create multiple custom workspaces that are perfectly configured for different tasks.
Even if your project requires both of those tasks, you can quickly switch back and forth between your custom workspaces and several presets that Adobe has configured. It also handles typography flawlessly, allowing you a professional level of control over every detail of typesetting. If it turns out that a letter needs to be customized, you can simply convert the letters into editable forms and adjust them to fit your project.
One of these is a traced image that Illustrator automatically converted into vectors using the Live Trace tool. Can you guess which? When it comes to simplifying complex drawing tasks, Illustrator excels in many cases — but not all. The suite of tools known as Live Trace and Live Paint allows you to take almost any raster image and quickly convert it into a vector format. It responds to pressure sensitivity with no problems and you can use it to create some stunning illustrations, but if vector sketching is your primary goal then you may want to look at the winner of the other category before you make your final decision.
If you want to read a more in-depth review of Adobe Illustrator , you can find it here. Get Adobe Illustrator CC. Deliberately marketing itself to Adobe users frustrated with the subscription-only model, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite has taken the wiser path and offers both a subscription option and a one-time purchase option.
Included in the purchase price are a number of additional tools including Photo-Paint, Font Manager, Website Creator and more. While the name sort of feels like a copycat of Illustrators similarly-named tools, the way it functions is completely different. When drawing with a tablet in most vector programs, you can create vector shapes based on your pen strokes, but LiveSketch actually maps out your sketches and creates the idealized line segments from your repeated strokes.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so a video at 24 frames per second must be worth a novel, at the very least. Fortunately, Corel has a fairly decent instructional guide with some tutorial content available on its website, although it would still be easier to learn if there were more sources.
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It can also work with more common vector shape tools, and uses the same standard point and path system to create and adjust any object. The developers have made the inexplicable choice to set the default typographic settings such as line spacing and tracking to use percentages instead of points, which are the typographic standard unit. On the less helpful side, there is also a built-in store that offers a number of additional options for sale. Aside from the winners reviewed above, there are a number of other vector graphics tools on the market vying for the top spot. Some are more successful than others, although there are a couple of free options in the list for those of you on a tight budget.
Serif Affinity Designer Windows and Mac.
Oh wait, there is more...
Affinity has been making a name for itself with a series of affordable programs designed to challenge the industry leaders in both mobile and desktop photo editing as well as vector graphics. There are great point drawing tools, and I find their large friendly anchor points much easier to use than the Illustrator defaults. There are pressure-sensitive stylus drawing tools available as well, although there are no specialized tools such as Live Trace or LiveSketch. All vector programs allow you to combine and merge multiple shapes into new shapes in a variety of ways, but Affinity Designer is unique in that it allows you to do this non-destructively.
This flexibility allows for entirely new prototyping possibilities as you experiment your way through the creative process.
Graphics software redefined.
In order to help it break into the professional market, Affinity Designer supports a wide range of file formats, from vector standards like PDF and SVG to proprietary formats created by Photoshop and Illustrator. Xara Designer Pro X Windows only. They include basic line and shape tools for creating and modifying vector shapes, but there are none of the time-saving extras you would expect in a more developed program.
Xara does a fairly good job of providing a lot of functionality without cluttering the interface, but the emphasis on keeping everything ready to turn into a website can be a bit limiting. Sometimes, this intent to avoid clutter can also make this more confusing rather than less, as in the case of the typographic tools.
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To their credit, Xara has done a good job of creating a large amount of tutorial content for Designer Pro X, but almost nobody else is making any. If you want a program that wears multiple hats, this might be for you, but the serious vector graphics artist will look elsewhere. If the high price tags found on the some of the other programs put them out of your reach, the open source software movement may provide an answer in the form of Inkscape. It includes all the standard vector drawing options, but also has the ability to respond to pressure information from a graphics tablet.
Additionally, the program supports extensions written in the Python scripting language, which allows you to add features not found in the default version of the program.
The interface layout is a bit different from what you get in other programs, as the open source community often has an unfortunate habit of ignoring user experience. For example, when you want to work with text, you have to dig through several tabs just to view all the different options, even though there is space to display them all in one place.
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Of course, Inkscape is still technically in beta release version 0. Hopefully, if it ever leaves beta, the developers will get a user experience designer on board who can help smooth out some of those interface wrinkles. Gravit has a clean, clear and uncluttered interface that is quite easy to use.
Curiously, this seems to have spared it from the user experience issues that plague some free programs. It also has the unique distinction of being available for the widest set of operating systems, and it can even run in a web browser. I ran into a minor issue when launching Gravit for the first time, as the Windows version requires installation from the Microsoft store, which I never use.
The world of vector graphics can be an exciting place full of creative promise, as long as you have the right tools. In this case, the tools are software programs and maybe a good graphics tablet , but like artistic tools in the real world, personal preference can play a huge role in what works for you. Creative processes are unique to each creator, so be sure to choose one that makes you happy! Did I leave out your favorite vector graphics program?
Adobe has totally ruined my primary workstation when it comes to their own software , they suggest I should do a clean-install of Windows just because their developers are obviously too incompetent to not litter the system with crap. I would thus recommend — IF you use Adobe products, do it on a separate machine that contains nothing else. That way, you can easily wipe whenever they screw up. Good page Thomas. Years back expression was great but Microsoft brought it stuffed it up and then stopped it, ever come across the current equivalent,so good it was someone should reinvent it Thanks Kenn.
Question please: want to reduce number of points in complex vectors. Read lots of possibilities including VectorScribe. Is it worth it to use such a program or continue using the in-program AI tools? Hi Thomas, Have you written a review for what you think is the best drawing tablet and pen for digital images? I am going to be creating clip art and drawings for Teachers Pay Teachers, so I will be using a program that does vectors. I used to have a Wacom tablet, Photoshop and Illustrator many years ago and am now returning to create more art.
But after many years, now I need a new tablet and hoping you could steer me in the right direction. Thank you for your reviews-they are so thorough. You do an wonderful, fantastic and excellent job! Nice review Thomas, thank you. Can you share any thoughts or concerns about GIMP compared to these you choose? Hey, thanks for this review. Gravit Designer looks like it should do what I want, it had no problem opening a 34 inch by 22 inch schematic of the electrical system of my Burt Rutan Experimental category airplane.